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Google pushes Apple to undertake RCS textual content messaging

Android mascots are lined up within the demonstration space on the Google I/O Builders Convention within the Moscone Middle in San Francisco.

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Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Google, the developer of the Android, is growing the stress on Apple to undertake RCS, a next-generation customary for textual content messaging.

It argues that Apple’s assist of RCS would assist forestall a number of the issues that come up when iPhone customers textual content with Android house owners. Presently, pictures and video do not present as clearly as they may, for instance, and texts cannot be despatched over Wi-Fi networks.

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Google executives have advised that Apple will not assist RCS as a result of its personal system, iMessage, helps the Cupertino firm retain iPhone customers by locking them into the Apple ecosystem.

In a website and publicity campaign on Tuesday, Google blamed Apple for making a substandard expertise when iPhones textual content Android telephones or vice versa.

“We’re hoping that Android customers cease being blamed for ruining chats,” Google international vp for built-in advertising for platforms, Adrienne Lofton, stated. “That is Apple that’s accountable, and it is time to personal the accountability.”

The marketing campaign is a notable escalation in an ongoing compatibility spat between the 2 firms that dominate software program for smartphones. Practically all smartphones on the planet both run Android or Apple’s iOS, and Apple’s iPhone has over 55% of the U.S. market, according to StatCounter.

Google desires Apple to assist the RCS “customary,” or specs that permit many various firms corresponding to carriers or telephone makers to develop apps that may ship and obtain RCS messages. Many Android telephones have already got built-in messaging apps that assist RCS.

A key battleground

Messaging providers have develop into a key battleground for tech giants as a result of if a consumer’s contacts all use the identical service, then the consumer is “locked-in” and fewer more likely to change to a different platform or app.

Fb father or mother Meta, which owns WhatsApp, has said that it competes directly with Apple because of how widely used iMessage is in the United States. Messaging has also drawn attention from some policymakers who are pushing to force competing services to work with each other under fair competition rules.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, a Google senior vice president in charge of Android, said earlier this year that Apple is using its own text messaging platform to lock in its customers, referring to inner Apple emails that have been made public throughout a lawsuit final yr that confirmed senior Apple executives capturing down proposals to carry an iMessage app to Android.

“I’m involved iMessage on Android would merely serve to take away an impediment to iPhone households giving their children Android telephones,” present Apple senior vp answerable for software program Craig Federighi wrote in 2013, according to an email.

Apple’s iMessage is barely totally different from different messaging providers as a result of it’s the default textual content messaging app on the iPhone.

Apple’s programs detect when an iPhone texts one other iPhone and, as a substitute of sending that message by means of the SMS system, it makes use of Apple’s personal proprietary iMessage community. Customers see the textual content they despatched as a “blue bubble,” versus the inexperienced coloration seen on SMS texts, like these to Android customers. The inferiority of “inexperienced bubble” texts has develop into a meme and impressed a song by the musician Drake.

iMessage chats present a greater consumer expertise than SMS chats on an iPhone. A lot of Apple’s options, like including emoji reactions to a single textual content message, barely work on SMS chats. iMessage chats really feel quicker due to Apple’s animations and embrace options like learn recipes, bubbles that point out whether or not a consumer is typing, and superior group chats.

Apple continues to differentiate iMessage from SMS by means of new options, like the power to unsend or edit messages, which shall be launched this fall.

Inexperienced bubbles

Inexperienced and blue bubbles.

Pattonmania | Istock | Getty Pictures

Google says that it would not need Apple to carry iMessage to Android, however that it desires Apple to assist RCS, which was developed by a group of wireless carriers and other tech companies to be an enchancment to the SMS and MMS programs which were in place for many years.

Google’s marketing campaign on Tuesday emphasizes that RCS assist for iPhones would permit a number of new options when an iPhone consumer texts an Android consumer, together with higher-resolution pictures, the power to ship texts over Wi-Fi, and the power to show learn receipts.

Google additionally says that RCS messages are encrypted whereas SMS messages will not be, which means that the brand new customary is extra personal.

“If [Apple] adopted the platform, it permits customers to get pleasure from issues like high-res pictures and video sharing, learn receipts, wealthy reactions,” Lofton stated. “And this is a vital one — higher safety and privateness with encryption.”

However SMS isn’t essential for messaging in lots of markets and Google’s marketing campaign is targeted on the U.S. market. In lots of nations, customers textual content by means of apps corresponding to WhatsApp or Telegram or WeChat.

Actually, Google advisable in its marketing campaign on Tuesday that customers may already obtain Sign or WhatsApp, mentioning that these free apps are as safe as RCS guarantees to be.

Apple has remained silent on RCS and continues so as to add options to iMessage, which solely works on iPhones and different Apple merchandise. Apple did not reply to a request for remark.

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